Lilyana’s Newborn Photos & Nursery

Tomorrow marks our sweet Lily’s 3-month birthday. While in many ways it feels like she’s been a part of our lives for quite some time, in other ways it feels like time has flown by so fast. Since taking these photos, she has already changed so much—although her facial expressions are still the same (which makes me laugh). Becoming a Mom has challenged me in new ways and stretched me to new limits. It has required giving up much of myself—including sleep (oh, how I miss you), hobbies (the blog is on the back-burner for awhile), and my body (hoping to get back in shape soon!)—but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Maternity Photos

Walking through life with Chris is one of my greatest joys. Second to this is our baby girl, Lilyana Marie. I never quite understood the happiness Moms experience through childrearing, but now that I have one, I can fully grasp the intense love one feels for their child. In those first sounds of our baby’s cry, our whole world changed and things that mattered before seem to have little to no importance—and the simplicity of being at home, spending time with our little one, is all but enough to content our hearts. I feel blessed to live this life, and so very thankful for our sweet baby girl. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s all real, and pinch myself because I can’t believe she is mine.

Today on the blog, I’m sharing a few of our maternity photos. Thank you Irina for capturing these precious moments we will always cherish!

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Two Maternity Dresses

I can’t even believe it! I’m 40 weeks along today, and still no sign of our baby girl. Perhaps she’s feeling a bit timid to enter this world, and I don’t blame her—it can be a scary place—but I keep reassuring her all will be well. With the nursery nearly complete, one of my favorite things to do is sit in the rocker and read the most darling baby books. Two of my favorites include the stories of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn—both emphasize big dreams start with small beginnings. These types of inspirational stories have always given me motivation throughout the years, and I hope these little books do the same for our sweet girl. My hope for her is she’ll dream big, shoot for the stars and pursue her God-given talents and passions (just one of the many things I ponder these days, as we wait for her debut!).

In other, less serious news, I’d like to share two maternity looks with you. Up until recently, I’ve been able to sneak around maternity clothing by wearing billowy dresses and tops. However, these last few weeks I’ve really needed a bit more to cover the bump. The Kimi and Kai maternity line is great, not only for its stylish maternity wear, but it works well postpartum for nursing (there are zippers just underneath the cascading ruffles). If you’re considering investing in maternity clothes, below I share two pretty dresses from this brand that work swimmingly for Summer.

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10 Baby Products for New Mamas

Over the long holiday weekend, I got to hang out with my dear friend Laurie, who recently became a new mama. Her sweet girl Miri is about to turn 5 months old, so it was fun getting to know the babe and spending quality time with her little family of three. Laurie and I have been friends since college, and we like to joke our lives have always taken similar paths—from dating, careers, marriage and now kids. We each got married three months apart, so it was no surprise I got pregnant soon after she did (not orchestrated, either!). Walking this journey with her has been such a joy and comfort!

During our time together, I took full advantage of asking loads of parenting questions in hopes I’d get the inside scoop, and secret sauce to what makes a good Mom. Perhaps it’s the laid back SoCal influence, but Laurie and Brian (her hubs) are easy-going parents I hope to emulate. As a new Mom it can be overwhelming to decipher between necessary baby products, and those that are just nice to have (only left to create clutter in the house!). Therefore, getting advice from someone you trust is invaluable and extremely helpful. In today’s post, Laurie is sharing her top recommended products for new mamas.

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Red, White & Blue Overalls

This weekend I’m channeling my festive holiday spirit and paying tribute to the American flag by wearing red, white and blue. We have close college friends in town from L.A. with no real agenda other than to relax, picnic in the backyard and enjoy some good food. Last year I shared a 4th of July inspired tablescape on the blog, seen here, which will come in handy for this year’s celebration as well. But given that I’m 37 weeks pregnant, I’m trying to take it easy—so this July 4th will be pretty low key. Thankfully our friends are super laid back and I don’t feel the need to “entertain.” In fact, tonight we grilled burgers, ate off paper plates, and nibbled on potato chips straight out of the bag. Nothing fancy here, but we’re happy campers in good company.

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